It’s been an interesting year. In the spring I began intensive work on a book with a schedule worked out for a release date in the summer. After all that work the book was “backburnered” and then placed in other hands. That really set the year off strangely. I got into Dorothy Day until the Fall when I began teaching a class on Richard Foster’s book “Streams of Living Water.” It was not received well. After a month of what felt like being burned in effigy by word of mouth I held a class wherein I offered to completely restructure with less reading. In time I came to lower my expectations over all and resigned myself to just finishing as best I could. It was my turn to be the “unapproachable old man” teacher. In previous years it was someone else. And so it goes.
During this same time I stopped writing and settled into a depression of sorts. This fostered more reading, which is really good. When life slows down inside I start to notice things I’d usually overlook and value little jobs I wouldn’t normally do. I took up bus driving for two and a half months. I’ve shoveled the walk in front of the office building twice now.
I’m still reading Wendell Berry and I’ve started Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything that Rises Must Converge” again. I’ve also picked up Dag Hammerskjold’s “Markings.”
Life is not always as I would have it, but failing to appreciate it for what it is, a gift, is to miss God’s opportunity to grow. Running away from life is not an option. Stopping dead in my tracks is not an option. Moving slower and reaching out works well but also complicates things. Life always works better in theory than in practice.